*Guest post courtesy of Jefferson Chandler
There’s no doubt about it – the kitchen is the hub of every home, and one of the most important appliances in any kitchen is the fridge.
Fridge space is valuable – and if you have a family with a hungry teenager or two, you know exactly how valuable that space can be. But what can you do if the fridge you have isn’t providing the space you need?
Upgrading to a larger fridge can be expensive. And depending on the layout of your kitchen, it might not even be possible. So if a new fridge isn’t in your future, you have to figure out how to maximize every inch of space, both high and low.
Ready to maximize the space in your refrigerator?
These 7 tips will help you double your fridge capacity without breaking your budget.
1. Remove Unnecessary Packaging
A great way to make more space in your fridge is to remove items from their original packaging. Plastic containers and cardboard boxes can take up unneeded space. Consider moving items from bulky packages and storing them in reusable bags instead.
When you get down to half the product, repackage it again into an even smaller storage container. This is key, especially with produce like cherries, berries, and grapes. You’re wasting space if you have a half-empty container of fruit sitting in your fridge.
2. Label and Date Everything
Label and date everything, including brand new items and leftovers. By labeling and dating every item, you’ll save space because you’ll know when it’s time to throw things away. This eliminates the guessing game and prevents you from holding onto something old because you think you might want to eat at a later date.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should only keep leftovers for 3-4 days. If leftovers from last week always seem to get pushed to the back of the fridge, you’re wasting precious space.
3. Hang Things
With a few handy hooks, you can hang things under the top of your fridge or from the underside of fridge shelves to create more vertical space. One way to do this is with magnets. Check out this trick to hang bottles and increase your storage space.
Binder clips are another great way to increase storage space. They’re perfect for hanging bags of food in your freezer where you’re more likely to have slotted shelves. By using the top and bottom of the shelf, you’ll create more space and be able to access and locate items with ease.
4. Add an Extra Shelf
Depending on the layout of your refrigerator, you might want to consider adding an extra shelf or two. It’s easy to fill shelves with width, but not always with height. If your fridge can accommodate an extra shelf, add one to create more vertical space.
With an extra shelf or two, you might be able to eliminate those gaps between your items and the shelf above it.
5. Use Dividers in Your Drawers
It’s easy to throw items into those bottom drawers – but you can get more space out of those drawers if you add a divider. Dividers help with organization and can provide a space-saving storage solution for all sorts of food items.
If you don’t want to use dividers, you can also use file boxes or bins. If you really want to get organized, you can store certain types of products in bins with different colored lids. For example, put meat in red bins, produce in green bins, and fish in blue bins.
6. Create an “Eat Me” Section
No one likes to waste food or throw away money on food they let go bad. To save money and save storage space, create an “eat me” section for items that are about to expire.
Go through your refrigerator on a regular basis and look for items that are about to expire (this should be easy since everything should be labeled). Use a basket or a wooden box to store things that are approaching their expiration deadline and need to be eaten NOW.
Let everyone in your household know that, whenever possible, they should grab a snack or an item from that box first. Not only will it save you space, but it will also save you money from having to throw out wasted or expired food.
7. Add a Lazy Susan
A lot of refrigerators have slide-out shelves that make it easy to access items stored at the back of the fridge. If your fridge doesn’t have that option, it’s time to invest in a lazy Susan. With a rotating lazy Susan tray, there won’t be any more mystery about what’s lurking, growing, or expiring on the back of the shelf.
With a lazy Susan, there is no back of the shelf. You can simply spin the tray to reach all items with ease. It’s a great way to access items, especially in a packed fridge. But it’s also helpful in keeping your fridge clean at all times.
It doesn’t matter if you live alone or live in a house with ten people. Fridge space matters – and it’s very easy to waste. When you’re ready to maximize space in your fridge and make the most of every shelf and drawer, keep these tips in mind.
Remove unnecessary packaging and store items in reusable bags or plastic bins. Label and date everything so that you know when items expire. If you get in the habit of tossing expired items, you’ll have a lot more space.
Hang a magnetic strip at the top of your fridge or hang binder clips on slotted shelves. By utilizing the top and bottom of a shelf, you’ll get more space.
If you have room, add an extra shelf. If you can’t add an extra shelf, consider adding dividers to drawers. The more organized you can make your refrigerator, the more space you’ll be able to enjoy.
Add a lazy Susan so you can easily rotate items from the back to the front. Get a wooden crate or a plastic bin and create an “eat me” box with items that are going to expire soon.
There’s no need to buy a new refrigerator. Try one or two of these tricks today, you’ll be amazed at how much extra space you’ll save!